Four Factors in Emotional Intelligence

The term “Emotional Intelligence” came into the limelight in 1990 when two researchers, Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer published their research on the topic.  Salovey and Mayer identified four factors that comprise emotional intelligence:

1. Identifying Emotions – The first factor towards understanding emotions is to be able to recognize them as they occur in others.  This includes verbal cues (e.g. intonation) and non-verbal cues (e.g. body language, proxemics, etc.).

2. Emotional Facilitation of Thought – In the factor step focuses on the ability to generate an emotion and act/react to it.

3. Understanding Emotions – This factor involves the ability to interpret an emotion, its cause and meaning.

4. Managing Emotions – The final factor is the ability to regulate your own emotions and respond to emotions in others to effectively manage the situation.

Although emotional intelligence alone does not provide a recipe for success in the workplace, it does go hand-in-hand with technical skills and IQ to help promote success at work.  A highly intelligent and skilled employee who lacks emotional intelligence may be less helpful as key influencer or more challenging as a stakeholder than a less skilled employee who has the emotional intelligence to reach consensus with their peers.